History Warns New York Is The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Friday, 18 March 2011 – 9:23pm IST | Place: NEW YORK | Agency: ANI

If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.Based on historical precedent, Armbruster says the New York City metro area is susceptible to an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 once a century.According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.

Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.

There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.

There’s another fault line on Dyckman St and one in Dobbs Ferry in nearby Westchester County.

“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.

He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”

“Considering population density and the condition of the region’s infrastructure and building stock, it is clear that even a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact,” says the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation on its website.

Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.

The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale.

Antichrist closes Facebook account with ‘goodbye’ post

Iraq’s Sadr closes Facebook account with ‘goodbye’ post

Leader of Iraq’s Sadrist Movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr [File photo]

December 14, 2019 at 9:16 am

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr closed his Facebook account Friday, writing “goodbye” on a black background on the social media site, Anadolu Agency reports.

The move led to speculations that Al-Sadr “withdrew from politics” in response to an agreement between political parties regarding the prime minister candidacy of Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, supported by groups close to Iran.

Al-Sadr also replaced his profile picture, an image of his father Mohammad Sadeq Al-Sadr, also known as a Shia religious authority, with a picture of a black background with the world “closed” written on it.

Earlier, Al-Sadr said in two statements on Facebook that he is against the candidacy of Al-Sudani, who is a former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Al-Sadr’s Twitter account remains open.

Iraq has been rocked by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

According to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights, at least 460 Iraqis have been killed and 17,000 have been injured since the protests began in October.

Babylon the Great Tests Nuclear Threshold

US tests missile previously banned under arms control treaty with Russia

By Ryan Browne, CNN

Updated 4:43 PM EST, Thu December 12, 2019

Washington(CNN)The US military tested Thursday a conventional missile that was previously banned by the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty that the Trump administration exited earlier this year, citing Russian violations.

“The Department of Defense conducted a flight test of aconventionally-configured ground-launched ballistic missile at approximately 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time, today, Dec. 12, 2019, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver told CNN in a statement.

The test comes just two days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Washington for talks with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. During the visit, Lavrov criticized the US decision to leave the INF Treaty and urged Washington to renew the New START Treaty, the last remaining nuclear arms control pact between Russia and the United States.

Carver said that the missile tested Thursday “terminated in the open ocean after more than 500 kilometers of flight. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense’s development of future intermediate-range capabilities.”

‘Unilateral moratorium’

The 1987 INF Treaty banned land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and missile launchers with ranges of 500 to 1,000 kilometers, but the US and NATO have long accused Russia of testing and fielding missiles that were in violation of the pact.

This is the second test of an intermediate range land-based missile by the US since it left the INF Treaty. The US military launched a land-based cruise missile in August that would also have been prohibited.

The US and its NATO allies have said that Moscow has already fielded such a missile, the SSC-8/9M729. Russia has denied fielding an intermediate missile and has blamed the US for the treaty’s demise.

“We have directed the attention of our partners at the negative consequences of the US stepping out of the INF Treaty,” Lavrov said Tuesday during a news conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.

Lavrov said Russia was announcing “a unilateral moratorium on deploying such missiles and they will not be deployed up until then and in those regions, up until the point where the similar systems appear, the American systems appear.”

A challenge from China could be just the thing to pull NATO together

The Russian foreign minister said that “suggestion was made to our Western partners, including the US, for such a moratorium to become mutual. This offer remains on the table.”

China, which was not party to the INF Treaty, also fields a significant number of intermediate range missiles.

The development of a new American intermediate range missile has been opposed by some members of Congress. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act “prohibits the procurement and deployment of new ground launched INF-range missiles in fiscal year 2020 and requires information on the analysis of alternatives to such new missiles, basing options and foreign countries consulted, including NATO” according to the bill’s summary.

Asked Thursday if the test meant that the US will deploy intermediate range missiles, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon“once we develop intermediate range missiles and if my commanders require them, then we will work closely and consult closely with our allies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere with regard to any possible deployments.”

But there is also concern that America’s European and Asian allies would be unwilling to host intermediate range missiles if the US sought to deploy them to counter Russian or Chinese deployments.

Don’t Sleep Before The First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Don’t Sleep On Pakistan and India’s Nuclear Standoff

December 3, 2019, 11:33 AM UTC

Key Point: Both countries, and world powers, have an interest in keeping the peace in Asia.

While the United States is preoccupied by the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of potential adversaries such as Russia, China or North Korea, the danger of nuclear conflict may actually be greatest between two of its allies, Pakistan and India. The two nations have engaged in four wars starting since their partition along religious lines in 1947. A fifth could be drastically more costly, as their nuclear capabilities continue to grow and diversify.

Several years ago I made the acquaintance of a Pakistani nuclear science student in China. Curious about the thinking behind his country’s nuclear program, I asked if he really believed there was a possibility that India would invade Pakistan. “There’s still a lot of old-school thinkers in the Congress Party that believe India and Pakistan should be united,” he told me.

I doubt there are many observers outside of Pakistan who believe India is plotting to invade and occupy the Muslim state, but a feeling of existential enmity persists. The third conflict between the two countries in 1971 established India’s superiority in conventional warfare—not unexpectedly, as India has several times Pakistan’s population.

The bone of contention has always been the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. At the time of partition, the predominantly Muslim state was politically divided over which nation to join. When Pakistani-allied tribesmen attempted to force the issue, the Hindu maharaja of the region chose to accede to India, leading to the first war between India and Pakistan. Ever since, the line of control between the Indian and Pakistan side has remained bitterly contested, with artillery and sniper fire routinely exchanged. Pakistan intelligence services have infiltrated insurgents and plotted attacks across the border for decades, and Indian security troops have been implicated in human-rights violations and killings of the locals as a result of their counterinsurgency operations.

Pakistan does have to fear the potential of an Indian counterstrike intended to retaliate for a terrorist attack by Pakistani-aligned groups, such as the killing of 166 in Mumbai by Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2008 or the attack on Indian parliament in 2001 by Jaish-e-Muhammad. In both cases, the attackers had ties with Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, and Islamabad has shown limited willingness or ability to crack down on these groups. Complicating matters, civilian control of the military is far from consolidated in Pakistan, and it would be quite possible for ISI or some other agency to carry out such activities on its own initiative without the knowledge or support of the head of state.

India’s military has formulated a “Cold Start” doctrine to enable its forward-deployed land forces to launch an armored assault into Pakistani territory on short notice in response to a perceived provocation from Islamabad. This new strategy was devised after the Indian Army’s armored strike corps took three weeks to deploy to the border after the attack on the Indian parliament in 2001, by which time Pakistan had already mobilized its own troops.

Islamabad sees nuclear weapons as its deterrent against a conventional attack, and Cold Start in particular. This is demonstrated by its refusal to adhere to a “No First Use” policy. Pakistan has an extensive plutonium production capacity, and is estimated to possess 130 to 140 warheads, a total that may easily increase to 220 to 250 in a decade, according to a report by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Many of the new weapons are smaller, short-range tactical weapons intended for targeting frontline troops. To enable a second-strike capability, Pakistan has also empowered local commanders to launch retaliatory nuclear strikes in case the chain of command is disrupted.

While battlefield nuclear weapons are less likely to cause the mass civilian casualties that a strike against a densely populated city would produce, they are deeply worrying in their own way: a state may be more tempted to employ tactical nuclear weapons, and perceive doing so as being intrinsically less risky. However, many simulations of nuclear war suggest that tactical-nuclear-weapon usage rapidly escalates to strategic weapons.

Furthermore, tactical nuclear weapons are necessarily more dispersed, and thus less secure than those stationed in permanent facilities. These issues led the U.S. Army to at first reorganize its tactical nuclear forces in the 1960s, and largely abandon them after the end of the Cold War.

Pakistan fields nearly a dozen different types of missiles to facilitate this strategy, developed with Chinese and North Korean assistance. Ground based tactical systems include the Hatf I, an unguided ground-based rocket with a range of one hundred kilometers, and the Nasr Hatf IX, which can be mounted on mobile quad-launchers. Longer reach is provided by Ghauri II and Shaheen II medium-range ballistic missiles, which can strike targets up to around 1,600 and 2,500 kilometers, respectively.

The Pakistani Air Force’s American-made F-16 fighters are also believed to have been modified to deploy nuclear weapons. The older F-16As and Bs of the Thirty-Eighth Fighter Wing and the newer Cs and Ds of the Thirty-Ninth are both believed to be based near nuclear-weapon storage facilities. The PAF’s five squadrons of Mirage IIIs, based in Karachi and Shorkot, meanwhile, have been modified to launch the domestically-produced Ra’ad nuclear Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), with a range of 350 kilometers. New JF-17 fighters jointly produced with China are also thought to be capable of carrying the Ra’ad ALCM.

The Pakistani Navy lacks a nuclear strike capability, but appears interested in acquiring one. In January of this year, it released a video claiming to show a test launch of a Babur-3 submarine-launched cruise missile. The domestically produced Babur is similar to the Tomahawk, and designed to approach its target at low altitude to avoid detection. Pakistan already possesses land-based TEL vehicles to deploy the nuclear-capable weapon.

Reflecting its superior conventional abilities, India does adhere to a “No First Use” nuclear weapons policy. Its security posture is also complicated by long lasting tensions with China, dating back to a border war in 1962 in which Beijing seized territory in the Himalayas. Today, China is closely allied economically and militarily with Pakistan, and even has a naval base in Gwadar as part of a strategy to envelop India. India, by contrast, continues to receive much of its weaponry from Russia, but does not enjoy the same kind of military alliance. It has instead dramatically expanded civilian nuclear cooperation with the United States and other nations in the last decades.

India possesses a smaller number of nuclear weapons, estimated in 2015 to range between ninety and 120. However, New Delhi recently acquired a full nuclear triad of air-, land- and sea-based nuclear platforms when it deployed its first home-produced nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant. The Arihant is capable of launching a dozen K-15 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missiles. However, these are limited to a range of 750 kilometers, and are thus incapable of reaching the major inland cities of Pakistan or China, a shortcoming India is attempting to address with new K-4 missiles, derived form the land-based Agni-III. New Delhi intends to produce three more nuclear submarines over the years, while Pakistan is considering building one of their own.

India’s chief nuclear arm is thought to lay in its Mirage 2000H and Jaguar fighter-bombers, which can carry nuclear gravity bombs. In 2016, India signed a contract for thirty-six nuclear-capable fourth-generation Rafale fighters from France, further enhancing its aerial striking power. India has also modified its Su-30 fighter-bombers to carry the BrahMos cruise missiles with a range of five hundred kilometers. These could theoretically carry nuclear warheads, though none are believed to have been so equipped so far.

India also has its own array of ground-based nuclear ballistic missiles. The most numerous are slow-firing Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles. Twenty mobile Agni-1 ballistic missiles with a range of seven hundred kilometers are also deployed along the border with Pakistan, while ten heavier Agni-II systems with a range of two thousand kilometers are situated in the northwest for potential strikes on China. India also possesses a small number of rapid-deploying Agni III missiles with a range of 3,500 kilometers, and is developing an Agni IV MRBM and Agni VI ICBM with sufficient range to hit Chinese cities on the Pacific coast.

If there is any silver lining to this steady escalation in nuclear firepower, it’s that neither India nor Pakistan appears to possess chemical or biological weapons. (India completed the destruction of its stock of mustard gas in 2009.) However, the potential for catastrophic loss of human life if nuclear warheads rain down on the cities of the Indian subcontinent is self-evident.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif showed goodwill in a surprise meeting in 2015. Unfortunately, neither state appears capable of shaking out of its intractable pattern of conflict, driven by domestic political forces, which makes diplomatic accommodation difficult. The struggle for Kashmir occupies an important part of Pakistani national identity, and there has yet to be a civilian head of state in Islamabad with the will and authority to bring an end to cross-border infiltration and support for terrorist or insurgent fighters. For its part, the Indian Army has failed to respect local Kashmiri leaders and significantly improve its human-rights record.

In 2016 the killing of Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani led to an outbreak of domestic civil unrest in Kashmir that resulted in dozens of civilian deaths. After attackers killed seventeen Indian Army troops in Uri on September 18, the Indian army launched a cross-border raid under murky circumstances ten days later, followed by heavy exchanges of artillery and sniper fire in October and November that killed or injured dozens of civilians and soldiers on both sides of the Line of Control.

The United States sits awkwardly astride the two states. During the Cold War, the United States tilted in favor of Pakistan due to India’s good relations with the Soviet Union. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, against the advice of the State Department, even dispatched a carrier task force in a futile attempt to dissuade India from its support of Bengali independence fighters. However, in recent decades, U.S. diplomacy has moved gradually in favor of democratic India, both due to its potential as a future superpower and its role as a counterbalance to Chinese influence. The role played by President Clinton in helping negotiate the end of the Kargil conflict in 1999 stood as a key turning point in the region—and marked one of the most dangerous confrontations in recent history, as it two nuclear-armed states were at risk of entering into full-scale conflict.

U.S. relations with Pakistan, meanwhile, have worsened despite a continuing flow of American arms for the Pakistani military. This mutual distrust is due to the presence of Islamic militant groups on Pakistani soil and U.S. drone strikes targeting them. Washington and Islamabad have genuinely diverging interests in regards to Afghanistan, the latter desiring to control Afghanistan out of fear that it might otherwise fall under Indian influence. Pakistan, however, can fall back on its relations with China if the U.S. alliance collapses, leading to a complicated diplomatic balancing act.

Despite diverging political agendas on the Indian subcontinent, there should be a common interest in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the likelihood of nuclear war. Growing arsenals in India and Pakistan serve to increase the catastrophic human cost of a potential conflict between the too, without evidently decreasing the frequency of inflammatory episodes of violence that spike tensions between the nuclear-armed states.

India and Pakistan will of course retain their nuclear arms, and continue to see them as vital deterrents to attack. However, for such policies to remain tenable in the long run, the longtime adversaries must seek to bring an end to a pattern of recurring conflict that is entering its seventh decade this year.

Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring. This piece was originally featured in March 2017 and is being republished due to reader’s interest.

Pompeo Warns Iran About Our Redline (Revelation 6:6)

Pompeo Warns Iran Over Rocket Attacks at Iraqi Bases

U.S. says ‘decisive’ response will follow if rocket fire injures U.S. or allied service members

Michael R. GordonDec. 13, 2019 5:49 pm ET

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for a spate of rocket attacks against Iraqi bases where American troops are located and warned the Trump administration would respond forcefully if U.S. or allied forces were injured or killed.

Any attacks by Iran or its proxies “that harm Americans, our allies or our interests will be answered with a decisive U.S. response,” Mr. Pompeo added.

A spokesman for Iran’s mission to the U.N. didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Iran has long been accused by U.S. officials of arming and funding Shiite militias in Iraq. During the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Iranian-backed militias killed hundreds of U.S. troops, according to U.S. intelligence reports.

During the military campaign against Islamic State, however, U.S. forces and Iranian-backed forces in Iraq focused on fighting the terrorist group. That led to an informal truce as each side refrained from attacking the other.

In recent weeks, a spate of rocket firings suggests the truce might be breaking down.

The bases that have come under fire are controlled and defended by Iraq’s security forces. But also present are U.S. and other international troops who have been training Iraqi forces and helping with the fight against Islamic State remnants.

Mr. Pompeo singled out two rocket attacks in his statement. They were a Dec. 9 attack against an Iraqi military compound at the Baghdad airport that wounded at least five members of Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service, an elite unit that was established and trained by the U.S. military, and another rocket attack two days later on the airport.

No groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Those attacks come as Iran has moved drones and short-range missiles into Iraq, a development reported last year by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

Write to Michael R. Gordon at michael.gordon@wsj.com

Gazans Clash with IDF Troops Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinians clash with Israeli troops during along the border with Israel, east of Bureij in the central Gaza Strip, on December 6, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Gazans clash with IDF troops along border as Hamas marks 32 years since founding

Army vehicle hit by molotov cocktail but no injuries to troops; 5 Palestinians said hurt; senior Hamas member: Israeli captives won’t be freed ‘until our prisoners see the light’

By TOI STAFF

13 Dec 2019, 6:22 pm

Several thousand Palestinians protested on the Gaza border Friday, with several hundred rioting and clashing with Israeli forces, as the coastal enclave’s Hamas rulers marked 32 years since the founding of the terror group.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said five Palestinians were hurt in the clashes, which included the hurling of molotov cocktails and other objects at IDF soldiers.

Video shot near the southern city of Khan Younis showed a fire breaking out on the hood of an Israel Defense Forces vehicle after it was apparently struck by a fire bomb.

No soldiers were injured.

Around 2,000 people took part in protests at various spots along the Gaza border, according to Hebrew media reports.

In addition to the border clashes, thousands took part in a pair of rallies in the Gaza Strip to mark the 1987 anniversary of Hamas’s establishment.

Fathi Hammad, a member of the Islamist terror group’s politburo, thanked Hamas fighters who fired rockets at Israel, Channel 13 news reported.

“[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s time is over,” he was quoted saying, in apparent reference to the Israeli premier’s political and legal woes.

Hammad also commented on Israeli captives held by Hamas, following recent reports of efforts to broker a prisoner exchange between Israel and the terror group.

Left to right: Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin and Avraham Mengistu. (Flash90/The Times of Israel)

“The Israeli soldiers won’t see the light until our prisoners see the light,” Channel 12 quoted him as saying.

Hamas is believed to be holding captive two Israeli citizens — Avraham Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed — who are said to have entered the Gaza Strip of their own accord in 2014-2015.

It also holds the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war.

“On the issue of prisoners, the enemy’s dawdling won’t help it,” Hammad said.

He warned the armed wing of Hamas would soon unveil a “new chapter in the battle” against Israel, without elaborating.

“Hamas will cut off the hand of anyone who tries to undermine the stability of security in Gaza,” he said. “Hamas will remain a torch of glory and pride for the Palestinians.”

Palestinians attend a rally marking the 32nd anniversary of the founding of the Hamas terror group, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 13, 2019. (Said Khatib/AFP)

Friday’s border demonstrations were part of the weekly March of Return protests that began last March and resumed last week after a three-week hiatus following a large-scale battle in November between the IDF and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terror group in Gaza.

Ahead of last week’s protests, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said Israel had a “special opportunity” to reach a long-term ceasefire with terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Meeting with mayors of Gaza-adjacent communities, Kohavi indicated that Israel believed it could negotiate an oft-discussed long-term ceasefire agreement with Hamas, which has been the de facto ruler of Gaza since violently overthrowing the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority in 2007.

The army chief said this is due to the success of the IDF’s recent two-day battle with the Islamic Jihad, an operation that was dubbed “Black Belt.” Unlike in previous rounds of fighting, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, stayed on the sidelines.

For more than the past year, Hamas has negotiated a series of unofficial ceasefire understandings with Israel.

The understandings have largely entailed Israel lifting restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza in exchange for Hamas and other terror groups in the coastal enclave maintaining relative quiet in the border region.

However, the informal agreements have not put an end to cross-border violence, as both Israel and terror groups in Gaza have recently participated in several short flareups.

Iraq suicide bombers kill 11 fighters loyal to the Antichrist

Iraq suicide bombers kill 11 fighters loyal to cleric Sadr

13 DEC 2019 / 15:34 H.

SAMARRA: Two suicide bombers targeted a base of an Iraqi armed group led by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, killing 11 fighters, the army said Thursday.

The first attack took place late in the day near Tharthar Lake southwest of Samarra, a longtime stronghold of Sunni jihadist groups some 100km north of Baghdad.

The blast killed seven fighters and wounded three, the army said, adding it was carried out by “a suicide terrorist” — its standard term for Islamic State group jihadists.

Later, a second attacker blew up a car packed with explosives at the same site, killing another four fighters, the army said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades) force took part in the gruelling Iraqi operation against IS after the jihadists seized a third of Iraq and swathes of neighbouring Syria in 2014.

In late 2017, Iraq declared victory over the jihadist group, but its sleeper cells continue to carry out attacks across the country. — AFP